My life.
I live with it.
I look at it.
My spied on, with malice.

It’s my wife. It’s my husband.
It sleeps with me.
I wake with it.
It doesn’t matter.

If I’m unfaithful – if I drank too much –
It’s me. It’s mine. It’s all legal.
I smell the back of my hand,
And like the smell.

Twenty-five years ago when I was still alive.
I was twenty-five.
My penis pants. My penis
Rises, hearing its name, like a dog.

I ought to cut it off
And feed it to itself.
Like the young bride in the Babel story
Forced to eat her husband’s penis

By the peasant who has cut it off.
A railroad telegrapher and a peasant
On the White Army side have found some Jews.
Russia 1918.

Interior railroad boxcar.
The boxcar door is slid open from the outside
Like a slowly lifted guillotine blade.
There they are.

I am fifty today. I hold the little cape and sword.
I dedicate this bull
That I’m about to kill
To the crowd.

To the crowd.
To the crowd.
To the crowd.
To the crowd. To the crowd. To the.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences